Combines vinyl and plastics, into a durable and cost-effective siding material. Widly ranging in pricing and quality with warranties from 5 to 50 years. Vinyl siding is a commonly used siding material where cost is of greatest concern. It is usually not allowed by most HOAs.
There are two large drawbacks to vinyl siding. First, the trim structure. Most use a folded and rolled-edge vinyl trim to frame the siding, which creates a channel along the bottom that can trap or direct water to the wrong places. Second, high-heat can cause warping and melting, especially in direct sunlight in very hot climates. Such warping is usually only an issue with the cheaper brands.
- Usually fire-rated.
- Greatest risks:
- Improper installation.
- Heat Sensitive.
- Cheap materials.
- Water management.
Composite siding, such as Hardy Plank or Certainteed Cement Board, primarily due to low maintenance and long life. While often requiring the most investment, composite siding can outlast all others if properly maintained. Installation requires professionals experienced with composite siding, as there are special requirements regarding the rain-shield behind the planks, spacing between and under the planks, and which size is right for the house.
Improper installation of composite siding can cause buckling, and potentially rot and water damage behind the siding. Such issues usually won't present themselves without a careful inspection right before the 1-year mark after installation.
- Very long life.
- Little or no fire risk.
- Can reduce insurance premiums.
- Greatest risks:
- Improper installation.
- Insufficient ventilation.
Usually selected for their aesthetic, cedar shakes can have a very long life if properly maintained. However, maintenance on cedar shakes is the most frequent and most costly of roofing materials. Without proper maintenance, cedar shakes may quickly rot, become a fire hazard, and will attract a wide variety of pests.
Cedar shakes should be oiled at least once every 3 to 5 years, or more often if they get a lot of direct sunlight. Annual inspections, for moss or pests, are especially critical.
- Good appearance.
- Long life.
- Greatest risks:
- Improper maintenance.
- Fire hazard.
- Pests and rot.
Getting the most from your investment in new siding will require a professional and experienced siding install crew. Just one missed detail during install can turn into a costly headache for you, and there's a lot of details. Worse, many small and large siding contractors have gotten good at avoiding any responsibility for these events. Most such issues won't become apparent for a few years after the install, and after the contractor guarantee, yet can also void the materials warranty, leaving you footing the bill for all new siding only a couple years later. This is exactly why Express Remodeling has a handpicked crew, and have partnered with CertainTeed to offer the best warranty available which includes installation coverage.
Siding Tear-Off and Prep
Quickly and carefully removing and disposing the old planks or panels, along with back paneling or bracing, is the first step to a good install process. This must be done with some care along the edges, corndes, and eaves, to avoid any damage to the structure. Once the beams are exposed, they can be more closely examined for any rot or deterioration, and can be replaced if needed.
Before installation, there should be a quick review of the flow of rainwater and meltwater, installation of open-valley gutters, and planning any changes to the gutter system. Most siding projects don't need any major changes, but the capture and flow of rainwater should be considered. If your existing siding is directing water where it shouldn't be, or you're having drainage problems already, this is the time to discuss a water management.
Final prep for the installation of your new siding begins with installing any backing or bracing. Next, the siding will begin to be installed, usually in an order specified by the manufacturer to ensure proper overlay and coverage. Careful attention to ensure the planks or panels are properly measured, and applied without gaps or excessive overhang, will prevent rainwater from drawing up under the siding and into the walls. Last but not least, flashing and trim will be installed and finished up, followed by a detailed inspection of the results.
When determining which contractor, and which material, for siding your home, compare the warranties. Coverage provided by the warranty is a good gauge of the quality and workmanship you can expect. Before going with any one brand however, it is a good idea to check for reviews regarding the manufacturer and product-line.
All contractors are required to cover the entire project for 1 year from install. After that, the manufacturer's warranty will kick-in. This is true for all warranties.
Most manufacturers will provide a basic 10 or 15 year warranty. Such warranties usually cover only the cost of materials and only in case of a defect, are pro-rated over the 15-year period, and will be void if not properly installed and maintained. It will not cover tear-off, trim, or any other parts or labor that will be necessary to repair or replace the siding. The materials and labor covered are often less than half of the total cost of installing new siding, and pro-rating will bring that coverage to 50% of that, after about 7 years.
This warranty rarely covers more than manufacturer defects, and is voided by faulty installation. Again, most contractors will only cover faulty installation for the 1-year period required by law. This means that if they put a nail in the wrong spot, and you get a leak, or find a crack or warping, 14 months later, you'll be paying out of pocket, and probably quickly finding more problems.
Many manufacturers will offer a longer term warranty for most of their products, covering 25, 30, or 50 year periods. Like the Basic warranty, the first year is covered by the contractor. Most such warranties include a full repair/replace period, where the manufacturer will take care of everything. That means they'll select and hire the contractor, and repair or replace what's needed, after an inspection finds a materials defect. They then usually prorate for the remainder of the coverage.
This is the most common warranty provided for quality siding products, and it can be hard to get much better coverage.
Even if the material provides such coverage, it is important to make sure you select the right contractor to get the installation taken care of. Most siding with this kind of coverage is designed for climate in specific regions, and for home exteriors of a certain size and construction. If any of the design specs don't match up, or the installation doesn't follow every one of the manufacturer's guidelines, the warranty will be void.
Only a very small number of manufacturers can provide full-coverage warranties. Such coverage is often rare enough, that many homeowners are surprised to learn it even exists. These manufactures can provide warranties which cover the entire cost of the replacing the siding for the entire life of the siding material. Specific product lines, installed only by contractors certified and vetted through the manufacturer, can come with 30-Year, transferable, unlimited, 100% coverage of initial cost.
This kind of coverage means that even if the contractor screwed up in 2005, you bought your home in 2007, and it started leaking in 2025, the homeowner doesn't pay a dime. Trust and security like that can be a big selling point to prospective buyers in the future, and peace of mind for anyone owning the home.
Many manufacturers come close to this ideal, offering 5 or 10 year full-coverage, and 50 year prorated coverage of materials. The only manufacturer we're aware of that can provide full-coverage for 30-Years, for all costs, is Hardy. It might be worth giving them a look.